Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Week of the Ziggurat

This week, we made a ziggurat as part of our Story of the World study of Mesopotamia. Crumpet was quite pleased with it. (Yes, it's very bright... ) It's so funny - I avoided these projects like the plague when I was in school, but now I really look forward to them. I'm guessing Crumpet won't remember most of the history we are learning right now, but hopefully, he will remember some of the projects... Or, at least, the time spent together.
We also made the leap to level 2 readers at the library. This was accompanied by much panic, and many "I can'ts", but what boy can resist a book about dinosaurs AND superheroes?? So, he joined me for a peek, and realized he could read almost all of this book.
Have a great week!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Practicing Gratitude Gifts 626-650

I've been writing down my gifts for a few weeks now, and it's funny to look back over them. It seems like forever since each thing happened. I guess I'd better post before they are ancient history...

626: I get the majority of my Vitamin D from the sun.
627: Hubby had a colonoscopy, and they found a precancerous growth. They removed it all.
628: I was able to share some baked yummies with friends, rather than eat them all myself.
629: We saw Harry Potter!
630: Crumpet had his first sleepover, and it went well!
631: Crumpet has been very snuggly lately and tells me loves me constantly.
632: I'm getting lots of sweet kisses too.
633: 'Girls only' shopping trips.
634: Clean hands!
635: School started for the neighbors. It is SO much easier to do schoolwork ourselves with no one ringing the doorbell to play at 8:15 am.
636: We have met Crumpet's new teacher twice now and she is amazing!
637: I bought lots of shorts for Crumpet before "winter" starts in Hawaii and they no longer sell shorts til "spring"... (It's ridiculous, but last year, I could not find shorts and we were desperate.)
638: I bought myself a swimsuit before they no longer sell swimsuits for 'winter'.
639: Crumpet had an ear infection, and we saw a doctor the very same day. Wow.
640: The ear infection is gone now.
641: Hubby had his shoulder surgery, and it went well.
642: Hubby has been home healing for almost 2 weeks, and we are not driving each other too crazy...
643: Dreams for our future trip around the world.
644: The kitty only has arthritis, not something disastrous..
645: I'm enjoying my photography class.
646: We explored a new botanical garden this weekend, while taking pictures for my photography homework.
647: Crumpet is doing better with handwriting!!
648: My first ever broccoli from the garden.
649: My first ever eggplant from the garden.
650: It's corn on the cob season!


We are settling into a routine of sorts here, and school is going quite well, most days. Two wonderful breakthroughs have taken place. The first and most exciting is with writing.
We've been working slowly through our Handwriting Without Tears book. Each day, we wrote a whopping 4 letters. Not 4 different letters. No no! 4 written characters, total. Everyday, there was yelling and throwing of pencils. Then, slowly, the yelling stopped, and the pencil throwing was halfhearted. This weekend (yes, we were so busy last week that we had to do school on Saturday...), we were working on some math problems, and Crumpet took the pencil from me and wrote the answers himself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were a mess because we haven't gotten to numbers yet, but he wanted to do it!! Yay! Then he wrote a whole page of letters during our handwriting time. He is so proud of himself, because he's getting so much better. It is a beautiful, fulfilling thing to watch.
Our other breakthrough has been with narration. We are using First Language Lessons, and we've only done 2 story narrations and 1 picture narration, but Crumpet is starting to get the hang of it. He's learning to organize his thoughts, and tell me about the story he just heard. It definitely helps that they are familiar stories in a shortened version...
On other fronts, we finished up our prehistory studies with a trip to the Bishop Museum. They have a dinosaur exhibit right now, and we had a lot of fun there. It's so interesting to see the changes in science since I was in school. The baby T-Rex at the museum had HAIR. They now think maybe the juveniles had a bit of fur... Pluto isn't a planet... I have to relearn everything, right along with Crumpet...
Here's Crumpet with the apple pie we baked for our Expedition Earth intro to geography:
He was so excited for dessert, and then he didn't like it. Poor guy!

I hope you are all enjoying your new school year, and having exciting learning breakthroughs too!!